Homeschooling and Libraries

New Solutions and Opportunities

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About the Book

As families are looking for better ways to educate their children, more and more of them are becoming interested and engaged in alternative ways of schooling that are different, separate, or opposite of the traditional classroom. Homeschooling has become ever more creative and varied as families create custom-tailored curricula, assignments, goals, and strategies that are best for each unique child. This presents a multitude of challenges and opportunities for information institutions, including public, academic, school, and special libraries. The need for librarians to help homeschool families become information and media literate is more important than ever.
This collection of essays provides a range of approaches and strategies suggested by skilled professionals as well as veteran homeschool parents on how to best serve the diverse needs and learning experiences of homeschooled youth. It includes information on needs assessments for special needs students, gifted students, and African American students; advice on how to provide support for the families of homeschoolers; case studies; and information on new technologies that could benefit libraries and the homeschooler populations that they serve.

About the Author(s)

Vera Gubnitskaia has worked as a library manager, consultant, and reference librarian in public and academic libraries in Russia and the United States. She has contributed chapters to several professional publications, edited multiple anthologies, and published book reviews. She is currently an art fellow at Crealde School in Winter Park, Florida.
A Michigan resident, Carol Smallwood has practiced in school, public and special libraries. Her primary interest is practical librarianship, and she is the author of journal articles and editor of numerous books.

Bibliographic Details

Edited by Vera Gubnitskaia and Carol Smallwood
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 286
Bibliographic Info: bibliographies, index
Copyright Date: 2020
pISBN: 978-1-4766-7490-2
eISBN: 978-1-4766-3923-9
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Foreword
Lesley S.J. Farmer 1
Preface 3
Part I. Assessing Needs
Understanding Homeschoolers Casey Custer and Rebecca ­Rich-Wulfmeyer 7
African American Parents and ­Decision-Making Clarissa ­West-White and Amanda Wilkerson 20
Specialized Services Supporting Local Homeschool Communities 29
Cara Chance and Meredith Crawford
Part II. Specific Circumstances
Homeschooling, Children with Special Needs and the Library Sarah M. Sieg 41
Serving the Special Needs of Gifted and Talented Children
and Their Families Barbara J. Hampton 50
Educating Homeschoolers with Learning Differences Using Design
Thinking and Continuing Education Resources Angiah Davis and Cordelia Riley 65
Part III. Programs and Case Studies
Learning in the Library Sarah Polace, Amy Dreger and Meghan Villhauer 75
Topic-Based Programming for Homeschoolers Leah Flippin 85
Providing Vibrant Social Opportunities for Homeschooling Families Holly S. Hebert 96
Public Libraries Serving as Homeschool Hubs Leslie Paulovich 106
Revitalizing Homeschool Programming for Public Libraries: A Case Study Casey ­O’Leary and Ruth Szpunar 115
Part IV. Beyond the Public Library
Parents’ Night Out Heidi S. Busch 127
Virtual Homeschooling Aviva Ebner 134
Expanding Access: Homeschooling in the Academic Library
Margaret Dawson, Dianne Mueller and Bridgit McCafferty 141
Partnering with the Past: Special Collections Libraries for Homeschoolers Nancy Richey 149
School Libraries and Homeschooling: A Source for Socialization
Rene M. Burress, Jenna Kammer and Bobbie Bushman 157
Part V. Finding Resources
Funding for Library Services to Homeschoolers Casey Custer and Rebecca ­Rich-Wulfmeyer 167
Camp Wonderopolis: An Intergenerational Program Nadine Kramarz 175
Preparing to Work with Homeschooling Families Holly S. Hebert 182
Part VI. Career Paths
Growing Up in the Library: Homeschooling a Future Librarian Jennifer C.L. Smathers and Virginia M. Lyle 193
Introducing Homeschooling Students to the Librarian Profession
and Personality Types Paul J. McLaughlin, Jr. 199
Library Literati: Information Literacy Classes for Homeschoolers
(and Others!) Maryann Mori 208
Part VII. Points of View
We Are Book Rich: A Homeschooling Family’s Use of Public Libraries
Jennifer C.L. Smathers and Jennifer M. Lyle 219
A Library Trustee Perspective Amy Koenig 227
Part VIII. Infinite Possibilities
Free Play Programming in Libraries and Communities Antonio F. Buehler and Autumn E. Solomon 241
Continuing Education Resources for Librarians Serving Homeschoolers Bobbie Bushman and Jenna Kammer 250
Supplementing Education and Facilitating Relationships Through
­Role-Playing Games Michael P. Buono 259
About the Contributors 269
Index 275

Book Reviews & Awards

  • “With over 3.5 million homeschooled students in the U.S., this book admirably explores the intersection of this growing and important grass roots movement and libraries of all kinds, showing how and why libraries are a vital element in the homeschooling movement.”—Bruce R. Schueneman, Library Director, James C. Jernigan Library, Texas A&M University-Kingsville
  • “A rich and exciting sourcebook for librarians serving those outside of formal schooling.”—Tim Gorichanaz, Drexel University, Philadelphia
  • “This book effectively covers all the bases ensuring positive experiences and outcomes for libraries serving home school families in their service areas.”—Deb Biggs Tenbusch, Librarian and Account Manager, Gale, Cengage Learning, Farmington Hills, Michigan
  • “Whether starting new programs or expanding current ones, these chapters will help you to engage and prepare your resources to help homeschoolers.”—Kathleen Christy, Adult Services Manager, Blount County Public Library, Maryville, Tennessee
  • “21st century homeschoolers are facing new challenges and this book presents fresh solutions and describes opportunities you may not realize existed for your library to serve these important patrons.”—Robert Perret, Contributor, Creativity for Library Career Advancement
  • “I think infinite possibilities best describes this must-read book for public and academic librarians who seek to find ways to engage, support and serve the growing homeschool community.”—Anastasia Varnalis-Weigle, Associate Professor, University of Maine, Augusta
  • “Librarians of all types, as well as library stakeholders, will find Homeschooling and Libraries a great resource to help identify needs and ways to support the growing homeschooling community.”—Michelle McKinney, Reference and Web Services Librarian, University of Cincinnati Blue Ash College, Cincinnati, Ohio
  • “An impressively-researched volume that draws on a variety of perspectives, offering insight into the needs of homeschooled populations, including case studies, needs assessment, and future possibilities for programming, continuing education, and outreach.”—Erin Pappas, Research Librarian for the Humanities, University of Virginia Libraries
  • “This practical book will assist libraries as they develop ways to reach out to home educating families.”—Ruth Elder, Cataloging Librarian, Troy University, Troy, Alabama
  • “This book reopened my mind to the wonders that libraries in all of their aspects and attributes have to offer students including the unique and diverse students who are homeschooled.”—Jim Jipson, University of West Florida, Pensacola, Florida